Betting on football adds excitement to the game, and when it comes to the first of my Week 7 NFL picks, the Eagles kept everyone in suspense until the final minute. I’ll happily take the win, but it was an ugly game in a lot of ways.
- New York and Philadelphia were a combined 7 of 23 on third down (30.4%)
- The Giants turned the ball over three times.
And what was worse, Danny Dimes tackling himself right before a sure touchdown, or Carson Wentz’ indecision about when to get rid of the football? Granted, Wentz was scrambling behind his sixth different O-Line combination of the season. In the end, he made a perfect throw to an even better catch, and Philadelphia got the win. But the lack of execution on that team is exactly why I opted to play the Eagles on the moneyline, rather than lay the points.
The NFC East has the worst home ATS record in football since 2009
The NFC Least
One thing I noticed last weekend, watching the Cowboys lose to Arizona while the Giants edged Washington by one point, is that the worst division in football has been a horrible spread play for bettors this season.
- In 2020, teams from the NFC East are 2-11-1 ATS (15%) at home.
The other seven divisions have a combined home record of 37-38-3 ATS (49%). And if you look further back, that win percentage doesn’t change. I went back 10 years, and it was still right at 49%. The NFC East, meanwhile, has posted just one winning season for home games against the spread, since 2009.
- The combined win-rate for NFC East home teams since 2009 is 42% ATS.
The law of averages, not to mention the bookmaker’s keen eye, have a way of evening these things out over time. Sunday, there is one more NFC East matchup to consider between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team. I discussed this matchup in my Week 7 NFL Preview.
Free Week 7 NFL Picks
Game: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Time: Sunday, 10/25 at 1:00 PM Eastern
Odds: Cleveland -3 and O/U 50.5
Cleveland (4-2) comes into this game off a loss to Pittsburgh, while the Bengals (1-4-1) return home from a shootout with the Indianapolis Colts. The Browns won the first meeting in Week 2 by a score of 35-30. It kicked off a four-game win streak for the team, their longest since 1994.
- Cleveland’s four wins this year are against teams with a combined .348 win percentage.
The Browns may have struggled against the Steelers vaunted D, but in their four wins, Cleveland averaged 37.5 points. They also allowed 27.8, mind you, and the Browns have now played OVER the total nine-straight times when both teams score at least 20 points.
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Week 7 NFL Scheduling Note
As teams struggle to maintain their practice routines throughout the pandemic, we are all having to deal with potential scheduling changes. In Week 7, the Buccaneers vs. Raiders game was moved out of the primetime slot over concerns that a potential outbreak might force a cancellation altogether.
Raiders right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for the coronavirus, but the latest report is that his team will be ready for Sunday’s 4:05 pm Eastern kickoff. The Raiders are off a bye, so they’ve had plenty of time to gameplan. They also knocked off the Chiefs by scoring 40 points at Arrowhead before the break. And now they are home underdogs?!?
This game has more variables than that equation from your chemistry midterm, but here are two things to consider.
- Bruce Arians has a 6-17 ATS history in road games vs. teams with a winning record.
- The Raiders have played 14 OVERS and 3 UNDERS at home after gaining at least 350 total yards of offense in their past three games.
Here’s the thing, though. Only one of those Raider home games was in Vegas. It was Week 4 against the Bills and sure enough, it went OVER, but not by much. Like I said, this game is a tough one to handicap.